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Hearthorse


Hearthorse
A hearthorse is that one horse who loves you more than himself. He will do anything you ask, even when the other horses give up and walk away. Why? Training for one thing. And he has a heart for you. He loves you so much he would walk through fire for you. Most horses would dump you on your tush and bolt if they even smelled a big fire. Not your heart horse. He will carry you through and trust that you know what you’re doing. Do we have a heart for God like that? A heart that says “you lead. I’ll follow. Because I trust in you.”
I like to think that I do. Then I have a day like today. It was a great and fun day, but I failed God badly. There was a woman with a painful and injured hand. I knew I should pray for her but I was afraid, I was afraid of being laughed at and afraid that maybe God would choose not to heal her and then she might doubt God. I feared a lot of dumb stuff, so I did nothing and left. Praise Jesus for my friend who was there too. She took the time to look around, see a large line up behind her of people waiting to go through the check out and said, “I see you are in pain. I promise I will pray for you.” Then we left. And she did. She prayed whole heartedly for that woman. I don’t know if the woman was healed or not because we didn’t see her again, but I do know that my friend pleased God by making a faith statement in public. And I know that I dissapointed Him because I said nothing. Do we have a heart for God? Do we love Him enough to walk through fire for Him? If not, how do we change ourselves to love Him more? I’m not an expert, but I would say from what I read of the Bible, that reading the Bible and praying is the way to draw closer to God. A great way to be fired up for Him is studying Him and remembering how Holy and powerful He truly is.
I don’t want to fail God. But I do everyday. I want a heart for Him, but I know that fear often holds me back. I am just so glad that God understands how limited I am and helps me and guides me and gives me another chance 10, 000 times a day. Praise God for His mercy, power and love.

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Encouragement

As my mom once said: we are in the boat with Jesus. Our muscles are straining as we pull on the nets, we’re working hard and He’s there, and He’s calm. Our lives are in that boat with Him as we are called to follow Him, we are given nets to catch the fish with and we get tired and stressed because we are working hard with no resault. We repair the nets, we weave new nets, somedays we may even need to build the boat, but it all has purpose. Then when God’s time is right our nets fill to overflowing. So if you feel discouraged, don’t. Don’t get discouraged because God is in the boat with you.

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He cares about it all

God cares about so much!
We all get caught up in the master plan that we forget that He also cares about the little things, the day to day things that probably have no effect on the master plan at all. Like when you get a cold and ask to feel better, or when you plan to go to the park and pray that it doesn’t rain, or lose something and ask to find it. None of that matters for the big plan for your future! If you can’t walk in the park or don’t feel better from your cold makes no difference to the end resault of your life. You could spend your whole exisitance never finding your lost gold hoop earings and it wouldn’t change a thing in God’s master plan, but it matters to you so it matters to God. He care about more than your destiny, He cares about you.

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Indiference in disguise

In C.S Lewis’s book ‘mere Christianity’ (which is a must read if you have questions about the Christian walk and life- but do remember that nothing you read can replace the Bible itself) he talks about love and asks us not to turn off the radio because we don’t want to go there. If you’re wondering, the book is made up of four of his radio talks, that’s why he doesn’t want the radio turned off. But it is so true. The second someone gets onto a platform and starts in on loving one another we often tend to tune them out, hang on before you tune me out as I go into this. I have the same problem. I turn off the radio too when it’s talks about loving thy neighbor. Not because I hate my neighbor, I’m actually very close with many of my physical neighbors, but let’s not get into all that- I tune them out because I find what we are preached is a little too… floating orbs and fluffy lamas if you get what I mean. As Christians we are not trying to get to a higher plane, we are not opening our chakras, we are not engaging our inner eye, and walking softly and only saying nice things is not the way to love one another. But I have heard pastors speak such things before. Love hurts, love is hard and love is an action. Remeber the old song ‘love is a battlefield’? It’s true. All love is. That’s why what CS Lewis said not only felt like something all people could connect to, but it was very solid and truly Christian, not something we’ve adopted for some reason from a cult group. He says, ‘if it’s hard to love someone don’t feel it, do it. It’s not a feeling of particular liking for that person, in fact you may dislike them very much and for a very good reason, but if your actions are love then any hate you have toward them will start to deminish.’ I’m paraphrasing because the chapter on love was long and the whole thing won’t fit here. Why does he speak so boldly about people you could easily hate being shown love through your actions? Because when he first did his talk on loving even your enemies he was verbally attacked by people for saying such things, why? Because the war had just ended and people felt great hate that was very justified, hate toward Hitler. They wanted to know how they could be asked to feel love for this man. So after Biblical study and discussion with many of the great Christian minds Lewis answered. You can’t. There is no way to feel love for someone so evil. But. If there was a chance for him to change and try and make up for the wrongs he caused (though he never could. My grandparents suffered through the war, my nana had minor PTSD because of being a child in the bomb shelters, and in those horrible moments she didn’t make it to the shelters and was simlpy saved by the grace of God from the falling explosions around her. Trust me. I have no pity for this man so don’t think that I’m saying he should have been given another chance or that we misjudged him or anything rediculous like that.) would you want him to change and become a better person? Or do you hate them so bad that you hope they are the evil of evil no matter what and burn for it? That’s a hard question. You see, the soft, love everyone in a cuddly do no harm sort of way could never face this. That kind of love that says we should all hold hands and say we’re sorry and then it’s all better couldn’t fix this. Pain is deep. And evil cannot be loved. And ‘sorry’ doesn’t erase all wrong. You cannot love a man like that. Not in the feeling sense. But can you pray that a man like Hitler would change? Can you ask God to fix his mind and make him a new person? Do you see him doing something good for a change and go ‘thank God he isn’t completely evil’? Yes? That’s love. If instead you hope he never changes, never realizes the horrors he’s caused and when he does something else horrible you go ‘good. He’s still evil. I can still hate him.’ That’s obviously not love.
And you know what? That’s hard too. Because there are some people who are so evil that you hope they stay evil so that they receive God’s judgement. I know there are because I have heard people say as much, I have felt this way at times too. Love is a battlefield, and most of the time you are battling yourself. Love also means calling people out when they are wrong. Reminding them of what sin is and that what they are doing is wrong. Not because it makes you feel good about yourself, and it should never be said in a condescending way, but if you love someone then you want them to do right because you want them to please God and you want them to go to heaven. If you don’t care about them, if you don’t love them, then when they sin it won’t bother you because you don’t care if they go to heaven or not. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to them, or you don’t actually know them personally, then pray for them. And hope that they pray for you too. Because we all sin and mess up. And we all need someone who loves us enough to tell us when we have messed up. Love isn’t a fluffy, easy, cuddly thing, love is suiting up and doing what is hard.
I hope people love me enough to pray for me when they notice a sin in my life that maybe I haven’t spotted. Or just in general. None of us are Christs. We are all people striving toward the cross and hoping for Heaven.

Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · Love · searching · still fighting

Things are so hard, so where is God?

When things get hard it’s easy to forget, or worse, let go, of who Jesus is and what He can, will and has done for you. When the sickness comes, the depression sets in, the pain overwhelms and fear is a constant companion it is so easy for the human mind to say ‘that’s enough! If there is a God then why is this happening?’
This is going to make you sick and cause you to roll your eyes -I know it is because not only have I seen this response before but I have felt it- God has a purpose.
Don’t groan. I know that’s the easy response. But the truth is that God does have a purpose, trusting that He has a purpose is so hard some times that when people tell you that it is all within His plan it can make you angry, or sad, or simply can feel like it’s adding to your brokeness, but He does have a plan. Then you wonder how your pain could fit in His plan? Good question. I wonder that about my own pain, and I’m sure that theology egg heads could give you a great response that is filled with scripture refrences and quotes from great scholars and pastors, but for me, all I can say is that it’s not about understanding the how or why, it’s about understanding that not knowing those things is where faith comes in. He is the same Jesus who loved me on the cross and before time itself, He hasn’t changed, He isn’t suddenly trying to hurt me, He loves me, His plan has always been best and it has always been ready for this, whatever the ‘this’ is at the moment, in the end He works it all together for good, I don’t know how, I can’t know how, all I can know is that He promised to take care of me and that He is doing that right now.
I can’t promise a sudden or easy answer, all I can promise is that there is one.

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We needed Thomas to doubt

We needed Thomas to doubt.

Some say that Jesus was just a good man and a prophet- if that is true then we have no hope or reason to hope, because Jesus as just a man couldn’t pay for our sins and His death would be meaningless.
These same people say Jesus coming back from the dead and appearing to the deciples was just a vision given to the deciples by God of the man coming and talking with them, but that Jesus Himself was not actually, Physically there.
But when Jesus was with the deciples He met a friend who was so broken by His death that he couldn’t believe that the Jesus he saw was more than a vision or a trick of his mind. Jesus had to encourage Thomas to touch Him. To touch His scarred hands and the wound in His side and to know through that physical touch that this was no illusion, vision, or trick of the mind, He was actaully there; smiling, laughing and chatting with His friends. If Thomas hadn’t doubted his own eyes and needed the physical connection to Jesus, then those people who claim He was just a vision or illusion of grief wouldn’t have an eye witness account that could hold water, but Thomas actually touched Him, you can’t touch a vision, and if he hadn’t doubted that Jesus coming back was true -like so many still doubt today- then maybe we wouldn’t have the record of that human to human, flesh to flesh, touch that shows once and for all that it was a physical and real risen savior standing there. Thank you Thomas for your doubt, because it was needed for those who need proof beyond Faith.

Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · Jesus · Love · Prayer · searching · The Bible · True Joy

Perfect training day?

When you’re working with your horse, remember that you’re not trying to perfect every single lesson everyday; you’re just trying to improve each one a little bit. Clinton Anderson

We get so caught up in perfection don’t we? It’s good but it could be better, seems to be an ongoing thought to general life, as well as our Christian walk. Now don’t get me wrong. We are supposed to live lives that are a reflection of our perfect Jesus. However. When we get our heads focused on us being perfect we tend to forget who we are trying to be perfect for, we can also work so hard at one thing that (like our horses) we get frusterated and learn to despise what we are working on. In the same way as when teaching your gelding to not spook at a flag, when you start and find that you are doing better than yesterday then tomorrow give yourself a break and work on something else. If you get so caught up in doing prayer perfectly or worshiping in the right way that you can forget that it’s about spending time with God, it’s about having a connection to him, it’s not about doing things perfectly, it’s just about doing better than you did the day before. And many times doing better than yesterday can simply be actually doing something. And if you do that something three times a week instead of one, then you’re improving. A Christian singer once wrote a song… okay many have written songs on this, but he wrote on feeling Christ deep in your soul, it’s more than hammering through your prayer list or trying to read a full chapter of the Bible before bed, it’s about being with Him. When we stop trying to be perfect and start working on communion, time spent alone with the Father, then we love past all other realms of religon and into truly being part of the body of Christ.
If this doens’t make sense to you then please ignore it, it makes sense to me because of my years training horses, but I don’t want to confuse anyone. Praying everyday and Bible time is very important. But it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to have you openly seeking Jesus.

Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · Love · searching · still fighting · The Bible · True Joy

Sometimes the prayers go unanswered and that hurts

We all have a testimony. Where we were, what God has done and where we are now. But sometimes God doesn’t do the miraculous healing. Sometimes He doesn’t stop you from falling. What then? If He hasn’t done what you have prayed for does your testimony still count?
I have a testimony. With all the ‘God delivered me from drugs’ and ‘God healed me from cancer’ I have heard and seen I wasn’t sure if what I had was a testimony or a survival hand book. Then today, I finally heard a woman speak her testimony and guess what? She was still a broken mess and she admitted it. But she had found that God’s powerful love was moving her to help other people with messes because she understood them.
My best friend who is also my mother (and I say that with pride) has had a disease my whole life. She has always pushed herself and given it her all no matter what, but she does struggle. She has to take medication to fill her body with cells that you and I have naturally. Doctors told her she wouldn’t see my 12th birthday. But she did. Then they said she wouldn’t see me graduate. But she did. Then they said she wouldn’t see me turn 25. I’m 26. They don’t understand how she is still as strong, though she feels weak, she isn’t in a wheelchair and that is amazing.
She works harder and cares for more people than anyone else I know. She’s my miracle. Everyday I pray for a miracle healing. But God’s sustaining power is sometimes more amazing than the sudden transformations we see. It hurts. I never know when my next day will be my last. I’m scared some days, broken other days and I know that doesn’t sound very faith filled but God never said it wasn’t going to be hard. I’m not saying that I’m amazing for never denying God because I don’t see my answers. I have fallen down and yelled and cried at Him many times. But God is more than knowledge and Faith, He’s the Holy Spirit living in you, He’s your safe harbor when it all burns down around you. I know through His strong love and strange peace that He is still good and that He still loves her and me, because even when I find myself sitting in a ball on the floor saying ‘God, why?’ I have a peace that passes past the pain. Living with joy in the moments that God has given us. It’s so hard and so vital.
Why does He heal others and not the one who I love? I don’t know. But I know Him, so I know there is a reason. One of my favorite singers said that He started writing music in a time of shifting, when the tables had turned over and he was trying to find where he stood, instead of taking the pain and running and going, ‘this hurts and makes no sense so there is no god’ he chose to reach out to God and seek Him more and in doing so, found more of Him. That’s the big choice we all have when the shifting happens and things hurt, do we say ‘forget it I’m better off on my own’, or do we reach up and say, ‘whatever you’re doing God, it feels awful, but I know that you are God and I am not and you have a purpose’?
It’s easy to give up when life gets hard, it’s hard to hold on.
Have you ever been knocked off a surfboard? You feel like of you just took the strap off your ankle you would be fine and could swim to the surface. But so many times in the delirium of the waves and the rock and the lack of air, the only thing that shows you which way is up is that strap. I have almost drown a few times boarding and everytime it was following the safety strap on my ankle that brought me back to the surface. God is your safety strap. You feel you could swim better without Him, but then you lose focus of which way is right.
Sometimes your prayers go unanswered. Sometimes the pain is confusing.
But God still loves you. And your testimony of His sustaining power and grace without the sudden life transformation  is something someone needs to hear.
I’m not down playing the times that God does grant a gift in His miracle, those times are important too and need to be told, but sometimes the day to day step forward is the miracle, don’t down play that or forget how important it is.

Can we pray a moment and just say ‘thank you Jesus’?
Thank you Jesus for your power even when I don’t understand. Thank for your love even when it hurts. Thank you for who you are even when I feel like I can’t find you, you are always there and you always love me. Thank you for who I am because of you. You are so good God. I know I will fall and I know it will hurt, but also know that as your word says, I will not be thrown headlong because you hold my hand. Thank you Jesus.
Thank you.
Amen.

Blog · Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · Love · searching · still fighting

Am I alone?

Sometimes when it feels like the world is coming at you from all sides and you see fellow Christians- people you may have even respected- fall to the taunts and the lies of the devil and his world workers you might start tp doubt, you might even want to run and hide or give up, but remember: what God has said is always true. If He said it was wrong 2000 years ago it is still wrong today. If He promised something 2000 years ago, the promise still remains. If 2000 years ago He claimed to love you, then He still loves you today.
Sometimes it feels like the devil is winning and you are all alone in loving Jesus with your whole heart and following His word. It feels like the hate has never been worse, and that all beliefs are considered acceptable exept ours. But you are not alone. Even if every other Christian falls and you still remain you are not alone, because Jesus is with you. He is proud of you for not compromising your faith and your values. Don’t be afraid. No matter how hard it is. Keep fighting. Your soul is your own, what you do that effects that soul is up to you, don’t let anyone take your treasure from you. Because in the end, the things you missed out on and the people who abandoned you because they didn’t accept your beliefs won’t matter. The only one who matters is Jesus, and His opinion is the only one that counts. It will be hard. It will hurt. Somedays it will make you sick as you watch the devil take ground, but God has a reason. Even before the beggining He knew the ending and He knew that you would struggle and He knew that you find a deeper connection to Him as you struggled. Evil is not suddenly good just because everyone is doing it or accepting it, and that can be so hard to understand. But if you go back to the basics. Back to what you learned when you still had faith like a child what do remember. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world.
And Jesus loves me. This I know. For the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong. They are weak but He is strong.
And the He patient not wanting anyone to perish. 2Peter 3:9
He is patient with you because He wants you to change and to find Him, the real Him, the one that takes sacrifice. He wants you in Heaven with Him, so He waits, until you come to Him.

Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · Love · True Joy

Never too dirty

You are never too dirty to come to the front door of God’s home. He tore the Veil through His son Jesus so that you could show up no matter what you had done. He doesn’t expect you to be perfect, He expects you to simply come.
I love how the pure love our dogs feel for us is such a beautiful show of God’s love. People beat and starve their dogs (which is beyone horrible) and yet those dogs still love them. We can call God names and hate Him and He still loves us. The love is unconditional. And that is so rare in people.
My first dog came from a neglectful home. When we rescued him we were told by the vets that he wouldn’t live a week. But they didn’t realize the power of prayer, and he lived till he was eight years old. Some may say that science saved him, and yes science saves a lot of people. But the science didn’t know what to do this time, he had no surgeries or Special Operations. All he had was love and prayer and lived a happy, loved life. All that to say- neglected to the point of death, yet no one was more compassionate or kind then my dog. He had a special love for seniors and those with mental illness and would go out of his way to be near them and to sit on their knees and comfort them, because of that unconditional love.
We neglect God too. We turn our backs on Him, we give Him only enough of ourselves to try to squeeze into Heaven but not enough to actually know Him. And guess what? He still loves us with His whole heart and wants us to come to Him in our filthy rags so He can cover us in beauty. Unconditional love.